When it comes to using social media marketing in B2C vs. B2B Environments to reach decision-makers, there are four distinct differences to take into consideration: Tone, Goals, Content and Channels.
Marketers in the B2C space generally follow one set of guidelines while marketers in the B2B space generally follow another set of guidelines. Marketers in both spaces often times get confused by which set of guidelines to follow but the answer is actually pretty easy.
B2C conversations can be more laid back and easy going with a more casual approach.
B2B conversations are more professional, require a more serious approach towards proofreading and editing to ensure error-free communication and that the “speak” is in alignment with the professional image the company is looking to portray.
The primary goals in the B2C space are conversation, engagement, branding, and calls to action while the primary goals in the B2B space are typically lead generation and driving website traffic.
Content has expanded to more than just written words to include images, video and interactive content. The rules of creating content on both sides of the coin no longer allow for being overtly promotional. Content in social media (regardless of B2C or B2B), should include a balanced mix of information, education and entertainment designed to inspire engagement.
Engagement has now become the golden ticket in social media marketing as it is directly tied to reach (how many people see the content). Creating inspirational content leads to more people engaging with your brand – regardless of whether it is B2C or B2B. Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media.
Social media is entirely different than what it was at its inception. As more and more social media channels come into existence, they are finding it difficult to be the “be all, end all” like Facebook and LinkedIn have been and are becoming more niche focused on one form of communication (Pinterest & Instagram = Visuals, YouTube & Vine = Video, etc.)
Here is a breakdown of which social media channels are most effective for B2C and B2B:
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+
Strategically using social media for B2B vs. B2C marketing is all the same.
Establishing goals, creating compelling content, scheduling content to make sure you are effectively communicating with your target audience, engaging with your audience, and measuring the results are the same strategic goals for B2C vs. B2B marketing. The only difference is the platform where the conversations are taking place.
If you are a company that markets to both businesses and consumers, focus on creating two different subsets of the same content designed to inspire both sides and post that content on the appropriate social media channel(s). If there is overlap in the social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for example), use a mix of messaging designed to speak to both sides and post it on those channels – the consumer followers will pick up on the lighter side of the equation and the business followers will gravitate towards the contextual information. It may take a little more effort to “speak” to businesses vs. consumers but it can be done and is absolutely necessary to reach and communicate with the desired decision makers.
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